The real story coming into High Point wasn’t that one point separated Jake Weimer, James Stewart and Mike Alessi, it was if Stewart would be healthy enough to challenge Ryan Dungey for a win. Turns out he was not, and so, it was left to someone else, anyone, to battle the Dunge.
The rider who stepped up most was Alessi. After two strong performances to start his 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season, Mike found himself off the podium last weekend in Colorado. This weekend, at a track that has delivered highs—Mike’s first-ever national win came at High Point in 2005—and lows—he also crashed and ended his 2009 450 title bid here—he pulled through to lead laps and move up to second in the standings.Freestone, Mike explained that his number-one goal for the 2012 season is to ride within himself and make sure he gets through all 12 rounds healthy. He knows trying to chase down the likes of Stewart and Dungey, speed-wise, can be treacherous, as he learned with year after painful year in the past. But at High Point, it was clear that Alessi wasn’t just racing to first finish, he was racing to finish first, and he did everything he could to keep Dungey at bay. He even passed the points leader early in moto two and pulled out a bit. Eventually, the number-five came steamrolling past, but Alessi had done everything in his power to put on a show, and keep the racing interesting.
“Ryan is riding good, that’s about all you can say,” said Alessi. “I tried!”
He had a little extra motivation since his mechanic, Chris “C-Lo” Loredo had chosen to stay back and wrench for Mike even though his wife Holly was giving birth to their first baby on Saturday morning. “For him to be here, words can’t describe it. I just can’t thank him enough for being here, and thanks to his wife Holly for letting him be here. He told me this morning that he expected nothing less than a 1-1, and I tried my hardest.”
Mike certainly did, and even though his efforts only resulted in 2-2 scores and second overall, it was a big enough effort to net him this week’s Racer X Outstanding Performance Award.
Alessi's 2-2 moto scores marked a season-high for the MotoConcepts rider.
Andrew Fredrickson photo